Friday, August 23, 2013

Evening Prayer I for a saint's feast? No!




Tomorrow is the feast of St. Bartholomew the apostle. Bartholomew of the synoptic gospels is identified with "Nathanael" of St. John's gospel, for several reasons, as explained in this article.
It seems that "bartolomew" is derived from "bar-tholmai", or "son of Tholmai".   So it is thought that  his full name was Nathanael bar Tholmai.   Just as St. Peter was originally Simon bar Jonah.

Bartholomew is the one who said "Can anything good come from Nazareth?"  and was won over to Jesus when the Lord mentioned the fig tree that Bart had been sitting under.

Since this feast is on a Saturday this year, it's office gets cut short after daytime prayer. Evening prayer tomorrow belongs to the 21st Sunday in ordinary time. Sundays always trump feasts with the exception of feasts of Our Lord, e.g. Transfiguration, Presentation, etc.

So, do we say Evening Prayer I for St. Bartholomew tonight? The answer is no.
But, but, Daria! ---there's an Evening Prayer I for the Common of Apostles! What's that for?

It's for those  places where a feast has been elevated by a diocese or religious order to a solemnity. So if a diocese were under the patronage of St. Bartholomew, and/or had a St. Bartholomew's cathedral, or if there exists a religious order of Nathanaelites, then tomorrow's feast might be celebrated as a solemnity, and those involved would do Evening Prayer one tonight, as well as  EP II tomorrow evening. But if it were only celebrated as a patronal feast, the evening prayer II would be dropped in favor of evening prayer I of Sunday,since  ordinary Sundays take precedence over everything except solemnities, and feasts of Our Lord.

It's complicated.

That being said, take a look at this passage from the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours:
 252. Everyone should be concerned to respect the complete cycle of the four-week psalter. [7] Still, for spiritual or pastoral advantage, the psalms appointed for a particular day may be replaced with others from the same hour of a different day. There are also circumstances occasionally arising when it is permissible to choose suitable psalms and other texts in the way done for a votive office.

What this seems to me to be saying is that even though Bartholomew's feast is not a solemnity in your diocese, you could, on an ordinary time weekday,  appropriately choose Evening prayer I from the Common of Apostles if, say, you had a great devotion to St. Bartholomew, or your name is Bartholomew.

Or Nathanael.








15 comments:

  1. "a religious order of Nathanaelites"? That would be so cool.

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    1. They could have a fig on their insignia.

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    2. * [John 1:48] Under the fig tree: a symbol of messianic peace (cf. Mi 4:4; Zec 3:10). [NABRE]

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  2. Thanks for this, it was very helpful. I discovered this morning (already Saturday here) that there was Evening Prayer I for last night in the Common of the Apostles but I hadn't noticed. Now I'm glad I didn't. So I was determined to not let tonight's Evening Prayer II slip through the cracks, but again your heads-up kept me on track.

    The Common of the Apostles in my one-volume breviary also indicated that the Psalms for Morning Prayer were from Sunday of Week I, so I assumed that Psalms 1,2 and 3 would be used for the Office of Readings as well. I was surprised when I opened i-breviary and found Psalms 19, 64 and 97 instead. I guess I can't assume anything!

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  3. Actually, if it's a diocesan or parochial solemnity, it does take evening prayer 2 tomorrow. All solemnities take precedence over Sundays in Ordinary Time. Sunday's of Advent, Lent, and Easter are the higher ranked.

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    1. Ah, Eugene, you are right! I was confusing solemnities with patronal or founder's feasts. This is such a tricky thing, looking up these distinctions. Thanks for setting me right. I'll go back and fix the post.

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  4. Daria, Did you ever get my long email relating our relationship to T&D?
    Stan Williams

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    1. Yes, I've been waiting for a chance to check out all your links and reply.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. I'm a bit confused by the Memorials: Apparently I am supposed to go back and use Sunday of Week I Psalms -- yet again -- for the memorial of the martyrdom of John the Baptist (if I am reading my breviary right).

    Do we go back to Week I Sunday for every memorial, feast and solemnity? Sometimes it feels like the movie "Groundhog Day" except without the Sonny and Cher tune...

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    1. Russ, this is a common misconception. In fact, when my pastor leads morning prayer after daily mass, he makes us use Sunday week I for every obligatory memorial and I'm wrestling with whether I should set him straight or if it would be better to just let it go, since this is probably how he learned it in the seminary. Here's the Way if Should Be: Sunday week I is for Solemnities and Feasts, period!.
      For memorials, you use the current weekday psalter, and then you may continue either with the current weekday OR use whatever common is suitable for the rest of the office from the reading and on, substituting any elements that are in the proper of saints for that memorial. This is often just a concluding prayer, but for some of the more historically important saints, there might be a gospel canticle antiphon or even a reading for MP and EP. A couple of memorials, like St. Anne, St. Agnes and St. Lawrence, have their own antiphons for the psalms.
      Hope that helps.
      Oh yes. If it's an optional memorial you are free to ignore the entire thing, even the concluding prayer for the saint, if you want, just as the priest might decide to stick with the weekday mass rather than an optional saints memorial.

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  7. Wow, that makes a big difference! Thanks!

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    1. Yes, but then I open my breviary or Morning Prayer today, and see that the proper of saints specifies Sunday week I for the psalmody, which seems to negate what I confidently stated ("solemnities and feasts, period!). But since it was specified in the proper of saints--rather than just what you see going to the common--then it's one of those exceptions made for those more traditionally revered and important saints. I think what's happening here is that the death of John used to be either a feast or a solemnity before Vatican II. He was "downgraded" to a memorial because he already has a solemnity for his birth, but some of his old festal office was retained as a way to honor him. He's in that category with St. Anne, St. Mary Magdalene, and a couple of others that I mentioned above.
      So the clarified rule for memorials: use the weekday psalmody and antiphons unless specified otherwise in the proper of saints.

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